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VPLS Networks

VPLS networks, a new Layer 2 MPLS VPN technology, extends LANs into WANs. VPLS provides quicker access, lower latency and jitter, fewer failure points and the ability to route "anything" globally.

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What is VPLS?

Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS), a new Layer 2 MPLS VPN technology, offers attractive new VPN possibilities, but you must be aware of its limitations to decide if VPLS is appropriate for your network.

David Passmore, Research Director of The Burton Group, a Network and Telecom Strategies Firm in Salt Lake City, Utah, expects the service to become extremely popular. Currently, only a few ISPs offer the service, but he predicts others to roll it out over the next year.

Network managers have become convinced of the advantages of Layer 3 MPLS over Frame Relay and ATM. VPLS offers the same advantages of reliability and QOS capabilities and adds the additional advantage of simplicity, but limitations on scalability and geographical distribution make it a poor choice for some networks.

A VPLS network appears to be a single shared LAN among all of your sites, making it a very simple network to understand and manage. Also, VPLS can carry non-IP traffic without any need for conversion or encapsulation. You interface to your ISP's network with an Ethernet switch. If Ethernet service isn't yet available at some of your sites, your ISP will supply a router that converts packets to the format required by the underlying media type. On the other hand, Layer 3 MPLS requires customer edge routers to exchange routing information with ISP routers using BGP.

There should be no leakage of information between one ISP customer and another, but some customers are sensitive to this possibility and are hesitant to choose Layer 3 MPLS for this reason.

Some ISPs require customers to change their IP address structure to interface to an Layer 3 MPLS service. According to Passmore, "Layer 3 makes customers rethink their architecture. VPLS does not." Also, configuring and managing an Ethernet switch is easier than configuring and managing a router running BGP.

Key Benefits when Ordering VPLS from King Communications

  • King Communications will quote from as many as 3 highly qualified VPLS network options saving you the time and effort of shopping for the best fit.
  • King Communications will help guide you in the selection of VPLS network equipment and in the specification of your VPLS network.
  • After your VPLS network is ordered, King Communications will help expedite the delivery and coordinate the installation of your VPLS ports.
  • After your VPLS network is up and running, King Communications will serve as your account manager and interface to the VPLS service provider saving you countless hours of waiting in customer service and trouble management queues.
  • We will check your first invoice for accuracy and we will conduct quarterly management reviews to plan for new requirements and to resolve open issues.

VPLS MPLS Comparison

BGP/Static Routes X X Universally recognized, easy migration from one vendor to the next.
Global Availability X X Customers with global presence, need to connect sites across the world for key applications.
Ethernet Handoff X X Same service everywhere. End to End solutions. Simple hardware requirements. Universally recognized technology.
Layer 3 X - Simple to integrate and deploy solutions with multple vendors and partners.
Per Packet Analysis X - Live, real time data for analysis…no averaging effect on data.
OSPF, EIGRP, etc. - X Specific to each customer environment. Very tech saavy customers who want to control their own routing.
Non Routable Protocols - X Typically manufacturing customers who have legacy systems that cannot be routed.
Global VLANs - X Customers who want to design Global networks by focusing on a "department" or "application" type design.
Layer 2 - X Quicker access, lower latency and jitter, fewer failure points and the ability to route "anything" globally.

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